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Data Science Master's Application

Program Information

On this page you will find information on how to apply for the Data Science Master's Program. For further information on the program, including funding, eligibility, curriculum and more, please visit the Data Science Master's Program page.

The Statistics Department understands that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, including the disruption to coursework, research, and access to standardized tests, and will take this into account in our holistic application review.

How to Apply

Rackham Graduate School and individual graduate programs work as a team to manage the application review process. Learn more about the process and admissions requirements, along with information on preparing your application here.

Applications must be submitted online. Instructions are included on the application website. If an applicant or recommender experiences technical difficulties while using the application or recommendation system please contact help@applyweb.com (allow 24 hours for a response).

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions Page for answers to specific questions regarding the application process.  If you still have questions you can submit questions to the Rackham Admission Office by emailing rackadmis@umich.edu.

Program code to use in the application: Code 02279 – Data Science Master’s Program

Deadlines

Applications for Fall admissions are due February 1 for the Data Science Master's Program. We do not accept applications for Winter admission. A completed application form and all supporting materials must be submitted by midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) on February 1 to be considered for admission.

Current University of Michigan Graduate Students

Dual Master’s Program for Current Master’s Students

The dual Master’s degree (Master of Science in Data Science) is restricted to students who are already enrolled in a Master’s program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It is a dual degree earned while a student is working towards a Master’s in another field. Applicants must have completed one term of a Rackham Master’s program and to have at least the following background before they join: 2 semesters of college calculus, 1 semester of linear or matrix algebra, and 1 introduction to computing course. Evaluation of the applications will be made relative to the other applications to the Master’s of Data Science program. 

To apply, applicants should complete Rackham's online dual admission application, found here. The program code for the MS in Data Science is 02279. Please note that applicants must complete the Pre-Approval Form for Dual Admission and obtain a signature of approval from the authorized signer in their current graduate program before they apply. Applicants will be required to upload the completed and signed Pre-Approval Form in the online application. For more information on the process and requirements to apply for dual admission, please visit https://rackham.umich.edu/admissions/current-and-former-rackham-students/.

Dual Admission candidates need to provide two letters of recommendation. Please have your letter writers upload their letters to the form at this link. Letters submitted by applicants will not be accepted. 

The deadline for current University of Michigan graduate students to submit an application to add the MS in Data Science degree to their current program is April 1.

Application Checklist

  • Submit online:
    • Application form
    • Recommender names and email addresses
    • Transcripts (scan of official or unofficial transcript)
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Personal Statement
    • Resume or CV
  • Request online to be sent to the University of Michigan:
    • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Arrange for official transcripts to be sent to the Rackham Graduate School Admissions Office. See Rackham's transcript policy for address and information.

For additional details, please see Rackham's Checklist for Completing the Application Process. Do not send anything to the Data Science Graduate Program Office. Materials sent directly to the Program office or to the Statistics or other Department by regular mail or email will not be reviewed with your application.

Application Requirements

Eligibility and Background

Most successful applicants are expected to have a degree in data science, computer science, information, engineering, physics, statistics or mathematics. Our diverse community of graduate students comes from many different countries and many undergraduate majors, including statistics, mathematics, computer science, physics, engineering, information, and data science. While a Data Science undergraduate major is not required, it is expected that applicants will have at least the following background before they join: 2 semesters of college calculus, 1 semester of linear or matrix algebra, and 1 introduction to computing course.

Your application should demonstrate that you have sufficient preparation to succeed in the required courses for the degree program. 

There is no formal GPA requirement, we will use a holistic analysis of an applicant’s records. 

Please also review Rackham Graduate School's minimum requirements to apply, and if relevant the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions

You can review the University of Michigan’s course offerings at the LSA Course Guide page. To see the graduate level course offerings for the current (or previous) term, use the credit type drop down menu at the top of the page. 

GRE

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is no longer required to apply for admission. Students who have taken the GRE may include the test result as additional information in their application if they wish. The GRE scores that we do receive play a minor and supporting role in a holistic evaluation of the application. If you wish to submit your GRE score, submit a request to ETS to send it directly to the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan code is 1839. 

English Proficiency Requirement

Applicants who have completed all of their undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only are exempt from submitting English proficiency score reports. All current University of Michigan students are also exempt. 

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL exam). Please see Rackham’s English Proficiency Requirements for more information about tests that are accepted, minimum scores, how to submit your scores, and full details on exemptions.

Transcripts

All applicants should report their Grade Point Average (GPA) on page 5 of the online application. The GPA should be reported using a standard U.S. four point scale. Applicants who attended an institution outside the United States should follow the instructions to convert their international average grade point to a U.S. four point GPA (see "How to Convert Grades to a U.S. GPA" here). All students are responsible for reporting their GPA using a standard U.S. four point scale. 

A scanned/electronic copy of the official transcript will be used for initial review by our admissions committee.  You will be required to have your official transcript sent to the Rackham Graduate School only if you are recommended for admission; please see Instructions for Submitting Transcripts. Be sure to include your University of Michigan ID number on all documents.  If there is anything you wish to explain about your transcript, please do so in the Statement of Purpose.

Letters of Recommendation (2 Required)

Two letters of recommendation in support of the student's application must be submitted. You may select a 3rd recommendation, however this is optional. The admissions committee puts great weight on concrete letters of recommendation from people who are in a position to judge your potential for successfully completing graduate studies in data science. To write the letters you should select people who can tell us about your training and abilities, and about any special talents you might have. Recommenders must complete their recommendations online. When the applicant registers the recommenders' names in CollegeNet, an email is automatically sent with a link to enter the recommendation online. Applicants should check the status of their recommendations on the CollegeNet website status page. System tip: When registering your recommenders online, you are not sure of which three recommenders you want to request letters from, just use your name and email address as a place holder. Then you can always go back and change the recommenders information later before submitting the application to us. If you only register 1 or 2 recommender's, there is no way to add more later. Instructions for Submitting Online Letters of Recommendations.

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose gives you an opportunity to tell us about yourself and your reasons for wishing to pursue a graduate degree in Data Science at Michigan. You should tell us about your background, motivating influences that aroused your interest in Data Science, and your career goals and objectives. If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere, you should tell us why you wish to change institutions or degree programs.

Personal Statment

How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. The statement will be read by the faculty members of the admissions committee. The personal statement has a 500 word limit and should be different from your academic statement of purpose. 

Curriculum Vitae/Resume

Submit your curriculum vitae or resume that describes your education, work experience, research and teaching experience, professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagements, honors and awards.

Application Fee

There is a non-refundable application fee, subject to change:

  • United States citizens and those with permanent resident visa status — $75
  • Non-U.S. Citizens — $90

Applications received without fees will not be processed. The application fee is paid online with a credit card before the application is submitted. 

Applicants who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or have DACA status may be eligible for a fee waiver. First, please review the options through our Rackham Graduate School. If you do not qualify for any of these programs but need financial assistance in order to apply, please complete this form. There may be a limited number of fee waivers available through the department. Requests for fee waivers must be received 10 business days prior to February 1. Waivers must be granted prior to submission of application; applicants cannot be reimbursed if they have already paid the fee. Unfortunately, application fee waivers are not available for international students. 

 

Financial Considerations

Cost of the MS in Data Science is the student’s responsibility. You will be responsible for tuition at in-state or out-of-state rates, living expenses, and health care. See the Rackham Graduate School’s website for financial aid available to Masters students.

How to Check Your Application Status

You can check your application status on the University of Michigan Wolverine Access web site. If you are new to the university, do not create your friend account until you submit your application and are notified through e-mail confirming your submission and U-M ID number. Enter your e-mail address into the Friend Account Request Form. Follow the instructions in the confirmation e-mail to log into Wolverine Access > New and Prospective Student Business to create your Friend Account. You will need to enter your UMID and birthdate. For more instructions see the Information and Technology Services website.

Questions?

Please review our FAQ page for prospective students to learn more about other criteria, including the academic background recommended to be successful in this program. If you have further questions, contact the Data Science Program Office at MDSProgram@umich.edu.

Rackham Student Life Website

Rackham's graduate student life website has information about housing, health care, transportation, child care, and so on.

Note: All credentials submitted for admission consideration become the property of the University of Michigan and will not be returned in original or copy form.